IKEA Hacking: 11 Budget Transformations

IKEA + DIY = IKEA Hacking

Raise your hand if you love IKEA. Their fine products are in almost every room in our house, so my devotion to the hallowed ground of IKEA runs deep. A friend who’s never been inside of our house recently saw a photo from one of my posts and made the delightful, however misguided, assumption that we were … ahem … of significant means, which we are most assuredly not. We are a family on a capital B-U-D-G-E-T. Hence my adoration of IKEA — they do modern-beauty-on-a-budget right. But what do I love even more than IKEA? The amazing ways in which savvy DIY-ers have customized the furniture. Yep, I dig IKEA hacks big time. So much that just this weekend I hacked my own BOKSEL Coffee Table. When we bought ours, it looked like this.

BOKSEL Coffee Table, image via IKEA.

But unfortunately, the wheels were non-locking. So any toddler/dog/sleepy adult could end up taking the coffee table for a ride with the least bit of effort. Aforementioned toddler and dog did this with relish many, many times. So often was our coffee table rolled around the room that the toddler stopped being careful and then very quickly learned how ouchy it can be when a coffee table rolls over your toes. Bye bye, wheels.

So sad. So short. So stationary.

The coffee table was too short to sit on the ground, so I needed some new legs. I wanted something with a hint of Mid-century modern, and found these at my local Lowe’s.

The same tapered lines of Mid-century modern table legs, but with a protective base and the right price point. Sold.

I added an element of retro texture with some gorgeous smock wrapping paper under the glass pane, installed the legs with flat brackets and stepped back to admire my first honest-to-goodness IKEA hack. 

For now, I’m leaving the legs unfinished. I’m into the white + wood contrast for the moment. I can hack my hack later if I change my mind.

But enough about me. Here are a few of my very favorite IKEA hacks from around the web. Check them out:

What about you? Have you transformed a piece of furniture into something brand new, IKEA or not? Check out these additional ideas for upcycled tables and more.

11 Responses

  1. daniel says:

    im looking to use this unit without the casters installed on top of a desk to make it a stand up desk. Can you tell me how high the unit is without the casters/legs?

  2. JeanneA says:

    I hacked Expedit wall units and a 5-panel screen from J.C.Penney. I was planning on building bookcases for my family room and then saw these units that were exactly the right size. I wanted them to have backs so I used the cardboard from the box they came in, wrapped the cardboard with contact paper and stapled them onto the backs. Once I figured out what kind of hinges to use on the doors I was all set. I just removed the hinges that came on the screen and used the door hinges and attached handles. I love it – lots of stylish storage that rarely needs dusting!

  3. Chris G. says:

    So "hacking" now includes something as mundane as swapping out wheels for legs on a cheap coffee table?!? Oh and adding a decoration on top, wow, that's really something worthy of a secret underground guild at MIT. Good grief.
    Part of me just died inside when I read this 'article'.
    Alan Turing is rolling over in his grave.

  4. SamSarah Design says:

    I love the clever way you keep your toddler out of the fireplace!

    • bkehoe says:

      We're these purchased as-is or a fit project? Would love to copy!

      • bkehoe says:

        Seriously hate auto correct:( I am wondering if the logs in the fireplace were purchased as-is or a DIY project. Thanks

        • Minnow + Co says:

          The birch log fireplace insert was a DIY project to pretty up an unused and not altogether attractive fireplace – but you're right, it's worked wonders to keep little ones from using the fireplace as a fort! Thanks!

  5. Yes, is awesome how you can assemble this furniture!

  6. Krys says:

    Awesome!! Send me pictures of your finished result! I'd loveeee to see it

  7. Krys says:

    Love it! And thanks for including my Expedit hack in your links!

    • Minnow + Co says:

      I love your Expedit banquette, Krys! I'm already planning a hack of your hack in my own crazy little nook of a dining area. Now that our coffee table is stationary and all toes are safe in our household, I'm ready to move on to my next IKEA upcycle project!

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About Ellen Foord 

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As the founder, designer, and one-woman workforce behind Minnow + Co, a tight budget has never stopped this DIY-girl-at-heart from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every ...

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